July Fourth should be a day for reflection

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For far too many Americans the Fourth of July has become merely a time to enjoy a day off from work, a family picnic and fireworks. It is the most important day in our nation's history and instead it should be a time to reflect upon the seriousness of the events that occurred in 1776.

The signers of the Declaration of Independence knew that if they were not successful in their attempt to gain liberty that they would be tried for treason and that most likely they would be hanged.

By and large, Americans are thankful for the risk that these men took and the sacrifices that they were willing to make to create what is now commonly referred to as the "land of opportunity." However, what appears to be lacking is the awareness that all of us have an obligation to make sacrifices that benefit the nation.

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America" are words that too many people conveniently forget when they are making decisions that benefit them but negatively impact the nation. Arguably if we took the words of the Pledge of Allegiance to heart, the country might become a better place in which to live and work for all and not just for some.

There will be those who claim the previous statements are too altruistic. If the men who gathered in Independence Hall had not been "guilty" of the same altruism, we might still be flying the Union Jack and not the Stars and Strips.

STEPHEN J. VEROTSKY
Johnstown


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